4.4 magnitude earthquake rattles central New Zealand

An earthquake has rumbled through central New Zealand tonight, disgruntling residents who feel there's already enough on.

A stock photo of a recording of an earthquake's seismic waves

"An [earthquake] right after the lockdown emergency alert?! Hint taken universe," one woman wrote on Twitter.

The magnitude 4.4 quake struck 15km south of Seddon, at a depth of 12km, GeoNet reports.

Within five minutes, more than 500 reported feeling it on GeoNet.

It comes around 20 minutes after the Government issued an emergency alert to mobile phones reminding the nation of the lockdown requirements from 11.59pm tonight.

"THIS IS NOT THE TIME FOR AN EARTHQUAKE," NZME political reporter Aaron Dahmen tweeted.